Sometimes I feel like several different people when I talk or think about education. Most of me can’t even begin to comprehend how anyone could not want to learn as much as possible, every passing moment. Some of me can understand how a person can be too exhausted from the labor and stress of a typical day to even think about thinking. And all of me wonders how people who hate everything about learning can remember to breathe. Education is too important. How can a person be too tired to live properly in the universe?
Turn off the TV and pick up a book. Go outside and do things. Look around – the world is a beautiful, fascinating place. Play games. Playing is learning. Climb a tree. TALK to each other.
I write about connections a lot. Once a person of any age – and it can start in infancy – learns that everything in existence and out of it is connected, the learning will never end. Things like nursery rhymes (which were not intended for small children, but that’s another topic.) connect to adult literature and history and sociology. Did you really think Humpty Dumpty was an egg? I’ve had students who didn’t know a single nursery rhyme, which makes me despise their parents, but that’s another topic, too. (They were not in the top class, by the way. Or the average class. Far from it.) Connections.
Fairy tales (also never intended for small children) are also a wonderful connection to modern literature, history, and many other topics. (Not the Disney versions – the real ones.) Connections.
As for mythology. . . . well, connecting the dots from mythology to science to literature to music to poetry to everything else will give you great works of art, not just a hen and chicks, when you stop and take a good close look at the picture you’ve made by connecting. Almost everything in the night sky is named for a mythological character, as are most of NASA’s spaceships and a great deal of scientific vocabulary. Oh, and a great deal of every other kind of vocabulary, too. Connections.
I know there are people who care nothing for learning. They come home from work or school and sit in front of the TV and cherish their mindless, effortless evenings. It’s beyond my comprehension. I’m so sorry for their children – the children who will come to school with no connectable schema – no prior knowledge. It’s hard to learn anything without something to tie it to. Shame on these parents.
Educators owe it to the universe to try harder with these poor neglected children, to give them a base on which they can start making the connections necessary to become a learner – an educated person who is curious about the world and never stops trying to find out “why.”
There is no such thing as a subject that exists only unto itself. Everything is connected to everything else. You know something about everything. YOU KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT EVERYTHING. Just think about that.
Placid contentment is a good thing only if you’re a cow.
ONLY if you’re a cow.